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Katynski v. Certainteed Gypsum Manufacturing, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 9, 2015

ALLEN KATYNSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
CERTAINTEED GYPSUM MANUFACTURING, INC., SAINTGOBAIN CORPORATION; and DOES I through X, and ROE CORPORATIONS I through X, Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. # 53)

ANDREW P. GORDON, District Judge.

Plaintiff Allen Katynski was injured while working at a gypsum manufacturing plant owned by Certainteed Gypsum Manufacturing, Inc. ("CGM"). Katynski claims his supervisors discouraged him from filing a worker's compensation claim and then terminated him when he filed a claim. Katynski brought this lawsuit against CGM and its parent company, the Saint-Gobain Corporation, asserting claims for: (1) wrongful discharge, (2) breach of the covenant of good faith, and (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"). Defendants seek summary judgment on all of Katynski's claims. Defendants also request that I dismiss Saint-Gobain because no valid claims are asserted against it.

Katynski has created a genuine dispute as to whether CGM wrongfully terminated him in retaliation for filing a worker's compensation claim. But defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the other claims. A contract is a necessary element of the implied covenant of good faith claim, and Katynski fails to rebut defendants' showing that no contract exists between them. Katynski also has failed to submit evidence rebutting defendants' showing that its conduct did not rise to the level of extreme and outrageous required to support an IIED claim. Finally, Katynski has failed to provide any evidence or argument to suggest that Saint-Gobain is a proper party in this case, so I dismiss it from this lawsuit.

I. BACKGROUND

From 2007 to 2012, Katynski worked for CGM at a gypsum manufacturing plant in Blue Diamond, NV. Katynski operated a piece of machinery known as the "knife." During this period at CGM, Katynski's supervisors were Phillip Chavira, and James Turba.

In July of 2012, Katynski resigned from CGM and moved to Ohio to be near his son. Shortly after starting a new job in Ohio, Katynski was terminated and returned to Nevada. Turba offered Katynski a new job at CGM as a laborer and trainer for the new "knife" operator. Katynski was rehired on October 3, 2012. The parties agree that, when Katynski returned to CGM in October of 2012, he was subject to a 60-day probationary period in which CGM could terminate him at will.

A. Katynski's attitude upon returning to the Blue Diamond plant

The parties agree that, after working in Ohio and returning to the Blue Diamond plant, Katynski's attitude changed. Defendants' witnesses testified that Katynski had a negative attitude.[1] They also testified that Katynski acted inappropriately on several occasions. For example, Katynski allegedly threw papers at his supervisor, left his work area without authorization, showed frustration when receiving critiques, and-on October 12, 2012-had a verbal altercation with a co-worker.[2]

Katynski disputes defendants' characterization of his attitude. According to Katynski, his attitude was more sober upon returning to CGM, but he never threw papers at his supervisor, he had permission to leave his work area, and during the October 12 incident it was another employee, not Katynski, who instigated the altercation.[3]

B. Katynski's back injury, worker's compensation claim, and termination

On October 9, 2012 Katynski injured his back while shoveling at work.[4] Katynski testifies that he reported the injury to his supervisors but that they discouraged him from filing a worker's compensation claim.[5] Katynski was told to "suck it up" and pay for his own treatment.[6] He was told that if he wrote down on forms that the injury was a work injury, Chavira would erase Katynski's writing.[7]

Katynski also testifies that on October 12, 2012-the same day Chavira says Katynski had a verbal altercation with a coworker-Katynski could not take the pain anymore and decided to leave work and go to a hospital for treatment.[8] Chavira admits that he decided to terminate Katynski on October 12, but he testifies that his decision was based on Katynski's poor attitude, not his work injury.

Despite that Katynski had reported his injury and was diagnosed by a doctor, his supervisors emailed the worker's compensation administrator and told him that Katynski's claim was a lie.[9] Later, CGM withdrew its opposition to Katynski's worker's compensation claim. Turba did not inform Katynski of his ...


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